Seized firearms are seen on display during a Toronto Police Service press conference to update the public on the results of raids, which took place across the GTA on Thursday, in Toronto on Friday, June 22, 2018. An internal government note says several federal gun-control measures that received royal assent over a year ago, including expanded background checks, might not come into effect before 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Goffin

Gun-control reforms passed last year might not be fully in place until 2022: memo

In May, government enacted a ban covering 1,500 models and variants of what it considers assault-style weapons

Several federal gun-control measures that received royal assent over a year ago, including expanded background checks, might not come into effect before 2022, says an internal government memo.

A briefing note prepared in June for Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says a series of steps must be taken before all of the provisions in Bill C-71 are in place.

Some elements of the bill, including those clarifying that firearms seized by police are considered forfeited to the Crown, came into force upon royal assent in June 2019.

Several other measures, however, require regulatory, administrative and technical changes.

They include expanding background checks to determine eligibility for a firearms licence to the entirety of a person’s life, not just the last five years. It would also broaden grounds to cover an applicant’s history of intimate partner violence and online threats.

The note, drafted to help Blair answer questions in the House of Commons, says other provisions that have yet to come into force will:

— Require the purchaser of a non-restricted firearm, including many hunting rifles and shotguns, to present a firearms licence, while the seller would have to ensure the licence’s validity;

— Require vendors to keep records of non-restricted firearm transactions;

— Remove the authority of cabinet to “deem” firearms to fall under a less restrictive class, irrespective of Criminal Code definitions;

— Require a separate Authorization to Transport (ATT) when taking restricted and prohibited firearms to any place except to an approved shooting range.

Prior to these provisions coming into force, the government must secure funding for the RCMP to update its information management and technology systems, as well as test the systems to ensure the transition is “seamless for both individual owners and retailers,” the note says.

Draft regulations would also have to be finalized, which will involve consultations with affected parties, the note adds.

“The regulations would then need to be tabled in both Houses of Parliament for at least 30 sitting days, before being brought into force through orders-in-council,” it says.

“In parallel, the RCMP would require up to 24 months to implement the new provisions, with ‘deeming’ and ATT provisions to be completed within the first 12 months and the remaining provisions thereafter (licence verification, licence eligibility and vendor record-keeping).”

Implementing the outstanding changes necessary for C-71 remains a priority for the Liberal government, said Mary-Liz Power, a spokeswoman for Blair.

Work is “underway to develop a funding proposal to support the new provisions,” she said.

READ MORE: Feds ban more than 1,500 assault-style rifles in Canada

Cpl. Caroline Duval, an RCMP spokeswoman, said while funding had not yet been allocated to the Mounties, the police force’s Canadian Firearms Program has initiated discussions with Public Safety Canada on the implementation plan.

The Liberals see Bill C-71 as the first in a series of measures aimed at ending gun violence.

In May, the government enacted a ban covering some 1,500 models and variants of what it considers assault-style weapons, meaning they can no longer be legally used, sold or imported.

Erin O’Toole, the newly chosen Conservative leader, was among those who denounced the ban at the time.

The Liberals have also promised legislation that would:

— Empower police, doctors, victims of domestic abuse and families to be able to raise a flag on those who pose a risk to themselves or an identifiable group;

— Toughen secure storage laws to help prevent the theft of firearms;

— Open the door to more resources and stronger penalties for police and border services officers to help stop the flow of weapons over borders and target the illegal trafficking of firearms.

Jim Bronskill , The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

gun control

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Patrick brothers who shaped modern hockey also tried, but failed, to remove violence

New history thesis shows efforts to sell a “clean game” in Oak Bay

Victoria man to run marathon after overcoming rare cancer diagnosis

Nigel Deacon was diagnosed with ocular melanoma in 2010

Burger sales bring in $5,000 to build Imagination Libraries in Greater Victoria

United Way of Greater Victoria and Big Wheel Burger team up to get kids reading

Donated sculpture in Sidney’s Beacon Park a testament to perseverance

Victoria artist Armando Barbon picked up sculpting 22 years ago

Greater Victoria businesses come together to help Island kids

Langford Lowe’s raises funds for youth mental health all month

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Most Read